Keith Negal, the FAI Vice President for the UK, passed away peacefully on Friday 4th February, with his wife Shirley at his side. Keith had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2009. He bore his illness, which he was told at an early stage he would be unlikley to survive, with typical fortitude, bravery and typical good humour.
As the UK Vice-President of the FAI Keith could always be relied upon to present a position coherently and robustly at the FAI annual conferences. He stood for the FAI executive board and it surely would have been only a matter of time that he would succeed once his qualities became more widely recognised on the world stage of air sports. As the immediate past Chairman and then Vice-President of the Royal Aero Club of the UK, Keith was as well the immediate past Chairman of the British Microlight Aircraft Association, a position he held for many years. He was elected the President of the BMAA in 2010. He was also the founder and past President of the European Microlight Association. He was awarded the Royal Aero Club gold medal in April 2010 and the BMAA also awarded Keith its highest honour, the BMAA medal. His defence of microlighting in the regulatory developments was legion. He led the BMAA with passion and represented it externally with government and the CAA, achieving the de-regulation of single seat microlights in the UK. On the European scene he was a passionate advocate in ensuring microlighting stayed outside the grip of EASA rules, and was a promoter for the introduction of a LSA category of aeroplanes. But also in the sporting side of microlighting Keith was inspirational, being involved with the British Team as manager at world championships and being the organiser of the 2003 World Microlight Championships at Long Marston, UK. He organised the mass microlight crossing of the English Channel from Calais for the Blériot centenary in July 2009. The list of Keith's achievements and qualities could go on, but in the space available let us come back to the person. Keith was someone who for many was a close and true friend, and that was a privilege. He was a friend and colleague whom many will never forget. We extend to Shirley and the family our deep and sincere condolences. David Roberts Chairman, Royal Aero Club of the UK President, Europe Air Sports